Driver using cell phone convicted of vehicular manslaughter

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A driver who was texting and talking on her cellphone before a deadly freeway crash in Orange County has been convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter.

City News Service says Jorene Nicolas sobbed as the verdict was read Thursday. Her first trial last year ended in a jury deadlock. She faces up to six years in prison.

Prosecutors say the San Diego woman sent 13 text messages in 15 minutes before her Toyota Prius rear-ended a car stopped in traffic on Interstate 405 in Westminster four years ago. She also took a phone call.

The 85 mph crash killed the other driver, 23-year-old Deanna Mauer.

Defense attorney Joe Dane suggested that Mauer may have caused the crash.

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